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UConn takes down Marquette in dramatic fashion, 65-54

The Big East continues to live up to their “gauntlet” title

Courtesy of Marquette Athletics

In thrilling, come-from-behind fashion, the UConn Huskies completed an improbable 18-point second half comeback to top the Marquette Golden Eagles 65-54 in Milwaukee in their first official Big East road-game.

The biggest question that UConn has faced this season is who can provide the secondary scoring to complement James Bouknight’s offensive explosion. As of late, there have been no consistent candidates. After a Bouknight injury and a steep deficit to Marquette in the first half of last night’s game, Tyler Polley decided to throw his hat in the ring. By all accounts, he did just that.

Polley scored all of his 23 points in the second half on 5-8 from 3-point land. The South Floridian native noted his mental doubts after recovering from a torn ACL last year to enter this season, as Polley’s injury came right after he dropped a career high 19 points and 11 rebounds against Tulane.

Polley’s second half heroics carried UConn while their intense defense was able to slow the surging Marquette team that punished them in the first half.

Isaiah Whaley, also known as “The Wrench” to the UConn faithful, gave an impressive 15 points and 13 rebounds to the cause, including his first 3-pointer of his career made.

Hurley has praised his seniors for building up the culture and chemistry of this tough UConn squad, and it’s clear to see that it all paid off tonight for the Huskies.

Marquette’s big men gave UConn trouble for most of the first half and early in the second half, where they actually opened up to a 10-0 run. Highly-touted freshman Dawson Garcia ate the Huskies’ lunch during that stretch, but was slowed down by the re-energized defense UConn put on in the latter half of the game. Garcia finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while shooting 2-3 from beyond the arc.

Theo John of Marquette also proved to be a thorn in the Huskies side, as his 9 points and 4 rebounds to go along with his intense physicality kept UConn’s big men honest all night.

Although this isn’t the Huskies team that stomped through the conference decades ago, this is certainly a team that will never let their guard down with Hurley at the helm.

UConn (5-1) travels to the great state of Indiana while continuing their welcome-back tour to face off against Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse this coming Saturday, while Marquette (6-6) will be looking to rebound against Providence on Tuesday 1/12.